(This post was published on the original RMS team blog in February 2010.)
If you plan to remove Active Directory Rights Management Services from your organization, you should first decommission the AD RMS cluster. This allows your AD RMS users to remove AD RMS protection from existing content. If you uninstall AD RMS without first decommissioning it, your protected content will no longer be accessible. Also, this process cannot be reversed. If you decommission a server, it cannot be restored to its previous AD RMS configuration. Here are a few links that can help you with this process:
Decommission AD RMS
, which is available in both locally installed help with Windows Server 2008 and on the TechNet library, provides guidance about how to decommission AD RMS in your organization, including the steps you should take after the decommissioning process is complete.
Decommissioning AD RMS
, which is within a guide all about Windows PowerShell commands and AD RMS, explains how to decommission AD RMS using Windows PowerShell.